The obvious parallel for The Americans, FX's new series about Soviet sleeper agents up to no good in 1980s USA, is Homeland. Minor differences aside (unlike Brody, the Jennings have no POW background) both shows focus on seemingly everyday folk tasked with attacking the United States from the inside and the toll that takes on both them and their families.
Praise the lord and pass the borscht.
But unlike Showtime's perennial Golden Globe favorite, The Americans deals with a conflict we've already won. The Cold War effectively ended when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, so we already know the Jennings and their Soviet superiors don't succeed in bringing down the U.S. So the real questions are: what kind of damage will they end up doing, and what will the fallout (no pun intended) be for their kids?
Wednesday's pilot was promising, even if the spycraft left a lot to be desired. I guess FX is hoping the sex and violence will make up for any nitpicking.